Morning Routines of Successful People Blog Post

Early morning routines of successful people, we’ve all read about them at one time or another.

But, have you ever taken a second to consider how many successful people have an early morning routine?

So, the question remains- how do early morning routines contribute to success?  I’m so glad you asked, that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss.  

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house.  My grandma would tell me that “The early bird always catches the worm!”  I can still remember sitting at the kitchen table barely awake. When I stayed over, I always quite a breakfast fit for a king! Quite a feat to have that much pizzaz at 5 AM. 

Early Breakfast- Morning Routines of Success people blog

Now, before you lose it, that I’m not suggesting that you never sleep in again.  A recent study conducted by Stockholm University suggests that sleeping in on the weekends might be good for us!  So, bask in the comfiness of your bed this Saturday and know that the folks over at Stockholm have your back.

So, why all this talk about successful people and early mornings !?

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Many of the most successful people have early morning routines. Keep on reading to see who!

Establishing an early morning routine is one of the many ways to jumpstart your day. An early morning routine increases your productivity, and improves your chances of accomplishing your goals without feeling overwhelmed. 

And with that, let’s look at some successful people with early morning routines.

Early morning routines of successful people

Each of these folks have made it a practice to get up early, and get crackin’! You might recognize a few of these people:

  • Tim Cook, CEO of a small company named Apple, maybe you’ve heard of it in passing
  • Dwayne Johnson “The Rock,”  this guy is amazing, incredibly humble, very motivated, and an early morning supporter
  • Howard Schultz, Xerox sales rep. turned Starbucks Exec., 232nd richest person in the U.S.  
  • Oprah Winfrey, O’ wakes up between 6:02-6:20 AM, no alarm
  • L. Rafael Reif, President of M.I.T., gets up at 5 AM, rarely misses breakfast
  • Warren Buffet, 6:45 AM, prioritizes 8 hours of sleep over ridiculous wake-up times
  • Jack Dorsey, Twitter, and Square CEO, up and at em’ at 5 AM, walk 5 miles to work 

Your morning routine…

So after having highlighted a few of the morning routines of successful people, let’s take a look at how we can embrace 5 AM.

I’ve never thought of myself as a morning person.  Truth be told, I still don’t.  But, without fail, I get my ass out of the bed at 5 AM sharp to head to the gym and be ready to start my day by 7:45 AM. 

So, how does one attempt the impossible and come alive before the sun comes up? More specifically, why would anyone want to?

For me, it started with a burning desire to be successful.  If you’re currently living a life that is shall we say, less than exciting (I was at the time), the first step to building a more exciting one, is attempting new things.  And, I figured if Tim Cook or Jack Dorsey endorsed it, I’d give it the ol’ college try.     

What happened next!?!

As so many of you may have guessed, it ain’t easy getting up in the morning.  The blaring alarm, the confusion, and panic that ensues as you are shaken from a peaceful slumber only to realize that this isn’t just a bad dream and you are indeed awake.

I feel ya, my friends.  

I wish I could say it was easy, but it took every ounce of willpower I had to get up at 5:00 AM each morning.  And, it continued for a few weeks.  

The saga continues…

After a couple of weeks of excruciating pain, I mean this was some next level shit, my body finally adapted to to the change.  I even started waking up without an alarm!  All good signs that I was making progress and that my body was coming to terms with this new reality.


Yours truly has joined all the other people who pop outta bed before the chickens, eager to start the day.  Nauseating right?

So, with that why would anyone get up early?

More Time

Getting up earlier and establishing an early morning routine provides you with more time to accomplish your goals. 

I noticed this right early on and started using the extra time to invest in habits that were more in line with my goals.

This extra time boosted my momentum so that I was able to start the day with an organized, coherent plan.  

I didn’t think the extra time made that big of a difference until I tested it out for myself.  One week, I slept in until 7 AM, skipped my gym routine, and cut everything else short.  The following Tuesday, I resumed my early morning routine , going to the gym, meditating, getting ready for work, and breakfast.  

The day I slept in, I found myself rushing more in the morning.  I felt scattered, unorganized, overwhelmed, and irritable.  I felt like I was operating in chaos, wasting time, and overall, not in a good place.  

This of course affected the rest of my day.  

I felt like I was in a fog throughout the day (still researching that one) and accomplished a lot less when compared to other days.  As someone who likes to hit the ground running, this was incredibly frustrating, to put it mildly.  

I got up at 5 AM the following morning, headed to the gym, then followed my routine (listed above).  It’s been several months since I did this little experiment and when I feel like sleeping in, I need only remember the terrible, no good, rotten day I had when I slept in.

So, what’s going on here that can impact one’s productivity and mindset so greatly in the morning?

Well…I’m so glad you asked…

It’s called sleep inertia and it can eff you up!

Sleep Inertia and How it Affects You

When we get up early, we give ourselves time to wake-up and become fully coherent before beginning the day.  And, there are multiple studies to back up this hypothesis.  

For example, a University of Colorado, Boulder study found that we actually have more brain power if we skip a night’s sleep than we do right when we wake up. Crazy right!

I’ll repeat that, your brain is more efficient after having missed an entire night’s worth of sleep than when you first wake up!

For most of us, it takes between 1.5 – 2 hours to fully wake up.

Having learned this bit about sleep inertia, my next question was how to prevent this from happening? 

Short of the story, aside from never sleeping ( I’ll steer clear of ya), there’s no way to avoid this.

So back to the drawing board we go.  Our next best option, pad time so that we’re not blinding charging into the day blurry-eyed and mildly irritable.  

Enter a new morning routine to buffer the amount of time needed to start one’s day on the right foot.  

No more snoozing…

As part of my new routine, I kicked the habit of hitting the snooze button 5-6 times each morning. I made the simple decision to get up, Rather than dozing in and out of sleep over 30 minutes.  

Nothing magical, no angels from above, or heavenly choirs gently awakening me from my peaceful slumber.  

No, instead it was more like Smaug in Lord of the Rings when all the dwarves bum-rush him and he loses his shit.  I’ll spare you the deets, but it wasn’t pretty the first few times.    


This new routine while excruciating the first few mornings, gave me the chance to begin my day in the right frame of mind.  This of course impacted my attitude dramatically, which directly correlates with my success throughout the day.

Rather than spending 10 minutes digging through a clothes basket for matching socks (asking myself why I didn’t fold laundry the night before), I now had the time to eat breakfast, meditate, listen to my audiobook, eat breakfast, and hash out any unplanned to-do’s or goals for the day.

This also decreased my stress in the morning, and I’d wager it can do the same for you! Give it a whirl…not next week, or next month.  Decide to get up tomorrow morning and experience the sheer blissfulness of an unrushed weekday morning.  


Another important benefit of getting up early is greater awareness and consciousness about my mindset and decisions.  I alluded to this earlier, but want to spend a few minutes here outlining some ways getting up early and establishing a morning routine improved my mindset and attitude. 

Getting up at 5 AM allows me to approach situations proactively with clarity and a definite vision for the day.

A proactive approach to time changes how we perceive even the most routine activities. It provides additional opportunities to embrace the present moment and expand our consciousness.  

Rather than reinforcing responses that emulate emergencies, we free our brains of the need to be on high alert. We become more conscious of our decisions affecting our actions and behaviors that impact the day.  The hope here is to build habits and behaviors that bring us closer to the best version of ourselves.

Let’s talk about skincare…

For me, this included spending more time on my skincare routine. I was able to focus on something I enjoyed doing without being overwhelmed or critical of myself if my mind wandered and my thoughts drifted from the present moment.  

As I mentioned earlier, I also set aside time to meditate.  My meditation sessions last between 7-10 minutes, and by implementing this activity in the morning, the chances of me skipping a session or falling asleep are minimal.  The results of spending only 7 minutes embracing the maddening silence provide me with more clarity, confidence in decision making, and overall, a greater sense of gratitude and curiosity for life.     

By expanding our consciousness we open up doors to a radical new way of thinking and living which has the power to change who we are and what we’re able to accomplish.  

Being more conscious of our thoughts and behaviors also allows us to take the driver’s wheel.  Whether it’s embarking on a new career journey, starting a new business, telling your Aunt Linda you don’t need any more socks for Christmas, or living unapologetically, you are in charge of your life.  

Creating a morning routine that starts bright and early provides you with the time to recognize and process how you react to situations and what you spend your time thinking.  

Whether it’s sitting in your favorite chair in a dimly lit room with a book, getting a yoga workout in, or simply enjoying breakfast, there’s something to be said about the magic of an early morning routine.

Self – Love

First and foremost, waking early, getting to the gym, setting time aside for meditation, and preparing breakfast, and consuming said breakfast while sitting down with a fork and actively tasting the meal, not chewing like a voracious monster reinforces two things.  The first is that each of these activities demonstrates a commitment to our mental, spiritual, and physical health.  

This trifecta is essential if you want to develop a quality life filled with joy and happiness.  

The result of these sustained efforts is of course a greater demonstration and illustration of our love for ourselves, which impacts every aspect of our daily lives and the lives of others.  

I struggled with this for a long time. As someone analytical, driven, and often my own worst critic, self-love was a challenge for me.  While all of my friends and family saw the many successes I’d accomplished, I used to focus on what I could’ve done to improve my results without celebrating my accomplishments.

I was my own worst enemy…

I share this because I imagine that at least someone out there might be dealing with the same self-love issues that I once dealt with.  And, for anyone a bit lacking in this department, please know that you deserve love just as much as anyone else.  

You are unique, deserving, and incredibly important.  If you weren’t the universe wouldn’t have wasted the time and energy to bring you to this earth to share your many gifts with the world!  After you finish this article, take 5 minutes to jot down 3 reasons why you deserve experiences that bring joy, happiness, and love.  

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Do this daily and soon you may very well find that the reasons listed can serve as a springboard for developing habits that enable you to embrace all the magnificence that is you!

Self-love is important friends, cultivate compassion and love for yourself and the world will be your burrito.  

What’s Next?

If you’re already up and at ‘em or want to share early morning routines of other successful people you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

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